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National Scrabble Day: A new Scrabble update makes the game more accessible and less competitive

Scrabble board
Scrabble board Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Jonny Walfisz
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Coinciding with National Scrabble Day, a fresh version of the famous word game is poised for launch, designed for players who want a less competitive game.

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For all the wordsmiths around, there are few more frustrating feelings than watching a perfect opportunity for a triple word bonus being snatched away by the ingrate you’re playing against plopping down some two-letter abomination on a Scrabble board.

If the thought of that experience is the kind of calamity that sends you running whenever someone utters the name of the popular board game, Mattel has a new version just for you.

Mattel has launched a new board called Scrabble Together, which has a new version of the game based around collaboration and a simpler scoring system.

Scrabble Together players have a shared goal, can work in teams, and there are helper cards to smooth over the experience. The new version is intended to make the game more accessible for players who find the original intimidating.

Each player (or team of players) is set 20 challenges and the first to complete their objectives without using up all their helper cards is the winner.

Ray Adler, vice-president and global head of games at Mattel, said: “Scrabble has truly stood the test of time as one of the most popular board games in history, and we want to ensure the game continues to be inclusive for all players. For anyone who’s ever thought ‘word games aren’t for me’, or felt a little intimidated by the classic game, Scrabble Together mode is an ideal option.”

A new look at Scrabble
A new look at ScrabbleMattel

For aficionados of the original, don’t worry. Scrabble Together is just what will be printed on the flip-side of the classic board. Anyone buying a Scrabble set just will now have the opportunity to change things up with the alternative playing mechanisms.

The new version is aimed at Gen Z players who, according to research released in conjunction with the game, are the least competitive generation of players.

There is already a version of the game aimed at younger players, Scrabble Junior. Also two-sided, one version even provides kids with some letters to get the creative juices flowing.

Scrabble was first invented in 1938 by American architect Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts then sold the rights to the game to James Brunot, which started its near-century long journey to its current ownership by Mattel, who gained the rights to it in 1994.

Word games have had a renaissance in recent years with the rise of mobile gaming. The extreme popularity of Wordle in 2022 led to its purchase by the New York Times, while other games like Wordscapes draw in huge numbers of downloads.

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